Handicap Grab Bars for Bathrooms: Updated December 16, 2021
Grab bars are an essential safety feature in handicap bathrooms, but not all handicap grab bars are created equal. There’s a confusing array of handicap grab bars for bathrooms to choose from, and some work better for certain handicaps more than others.
Grab bars prevent people with handicaps from having a fall accident. In handicap bathrooms, handicap grab bars are essential for safety and transferring to and from the handicapped bathtub or shower.
The ADA handicapped bathroom guidelines offer guidelines on how to install grab bars.
What is a Handicapped Grab Bar?
A handicapped grab bar assists handicapped or elderly handicapped access by providing a firm grip for the handicap to pull themselves into full height, making the transfer to and from accessible toilets, handicapped bathtubs, and handicapped showers easy.
Handicapped grab bars also provide a sense of security for those who may feel unsteady on their feet.
The length of handicap grab bars is essential, as you’ll need to be able to reach them from different areas in the bathroom. Make sure to measure the distance before you buy.
The minimum length for a grab bar is 18 inches long. A tub grab bar should be about 48 inches long. The diameter of bars should be between 1 1/4 inches to 1 1/2 inches. Check the ADA Guidelines for exact measurements.
Height to Install
The shower rail should be about 36 inches above the floor in a shower. It would be best if you installed two grab bars for a bathtub, one 9 inches above the tub and the second 33 inches to 36 inches above the floor. Install a 24-inch grab bar between 33 inches and 36 inches above the floor at the end of the bathtub. Check the ADA Guidelines for exact measurements.
Not all handicap grab bars can hold a person’s weight, so make sure to choose one that has a high weight capacity.
Finish and Styles
The finish of handicap grab bars is significant because it can affect the safety and durability of handicap grab bars. Therefore, it would be best to try to match your grab bars’ finish to the finish of your bathroom faucet. Some popular finishes are chrome, satin nickel, bronze, and champagne.
There are also several designs to choose from, such as curved, straight, or L-shaped.
Handicap grab bars are also attached to the wall with two wall fasteners, one on each end of the handicap grab bar.
Which handicap grab bars are best for you?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best handicap grab bars for your bathroom will depend on your specific needs. However, here are some general tips on choosing the suitable handicap grab bars:
If you have difficulty standing for long periods, choose handicap grab bars with a horizontal bar. Grab bars will help you to maintain your balance.
Do you have difficulty gripping things? Choose handicap grab bars with a textured surface. The textured surface will help you to grip the bar more securely.
If you have difficulty walking, choose handicap grab bars with a curved shape. The curved shape will help you to maintain your balance as you walk.
Are you using a wheelchair? Choose handicap grab bars that are wheelchair accessible.
Look for ADA-compliant grab bars. These handicap grab bars adhere to strict guidelines for handicap bathroom safety.
Here are some standard handicap bathroom grab bars:
The Suction Cup Grab Bar
The suction cup grab bar is attached to the wall with suction cups, making it easy to install and remove. It has a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds and comes in various colors. However, there are problems with this type of grab bar because they tend not to stick to all surfaces. If at all possible, avoid this type of grab bar.
The Fixed Mounting Grab Bar
A fixed mounting grab bar is attached to the wall with screws and is perfect for those with limited mobility. It has a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds and comes in various finishes.
The Retractable Grab Bar
A retractable grab bar is perfect for those who want the flexibility to move their grab bar around as needed. It has a weight capacity of up to 350 pounds and is handicap-accessible.
The benefits of using a retractable grab bar are:
- they don’t require any drilling or screws to install
- they’re easy to move around
- they come in a variety of finishes.
The Floor-to-Ceiling Grab Bar
A floor-to-ceiling grab bar is perfect for those who want extra stability while standing in the shower.
Tension Mounted Floor to Ceiling Transfer Pole, Bathroom Safety Assist Grab Bar and Stability Rail with Support Handle
The Free Standing Grab Bar
A free-standing grab bar has three free-standing legs for extra support and is handicap-accessible. It has a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds and comes in various finishes.
The Toilet Safety Frame
The toilet safety frame provides extra support when sitting on the toilet. It has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds and comes in various colors.
The benefits of a toilet safety frame are:
- Provides extra support when sitting on the toilet
- It has a cushioned seat for comfort
- It comes with a built-in handle for easy transport
- It is lightweight and easy to assemble.
The Hand Held Shower Head
The handicap grab bars that can support a handheld showerhead are perfect for those who want the convenience of showering in their bathroom instead of going to a public handicap-accessible restroom. It has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds and comes in various finishes.
The benefits of using a handicap grab bar with a handheld showerhead are:
- First, you have complete control over the water temperature and water pressure.
- You can easily adjust the height of handicap grab bars for better ergonomics.
- The handicap grab bars will be more hygienic for those who use wheelchairs.
- Your handicap grab bar will double as a towel bar.
A handicap bathtub rail is perfect for those who need extra support when getting in and out of the bathtub. It has a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds and comes in various finishes. To install, fix it securely to your wall with bolts or screws.
The Bariatric Grab Bar
A bariatric grab bar is perfect for disabled individuals who need additional support. It has a weight capacity of up to 600 pounds and comes in an 18″ or 24″ height.
The Shower Safety Frame
A shower safety frame provides extra stability and support for those who need help standing in the shower. It has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds and comes in various colors.
The Bath Seat with Grab Bar
This handicap grab bar provides extra assistance when sitting on the bathtub or shower seat. It has a weight capacity of up to 300 pounds and comes in various colors.
Tips for Selecting a Grab Bar
- Choose a bar that has a weight capacity that exceeds your needs
- Choose a bar with a finish that will match the decor of your bathroom
- Consider the ease of installation before making your purchase
- Choose a bar that is handicap-accessible and ADA Compliant
- Choose a bar that comes with a handheld showerhead for added convenience.
When choosing handicap grab bars for your bathroom, be sure to consider the needs of yourself or your loved one. Handicap grab bars can provide extra stability and support when needed and are a great way to improve safety in the bathroom.
Towel Bars Are Not Grab Bars
Grab bars allow people who use a wheelchair to safely and easily access everything around them.
A towel bar may seem like an easy enough place for someone in your home, but it’s crucial that you never put any weight onto these fixtures or try grabbing anything off them because they’re not securely fastened into the wall and could cause injury.
Where Should Toilet Grab Bars Be Installed?
Ideally, install toilet bars on both the left and right sides of the toilet. However, if this is not possible, at least install one bar. If you’re not sure how to install a toilet grab bar, it’s best to consult with a professional.
Where Should Grab Bars be Installed in a Shower?
Install grab bars behind the tub and in front of it. Install grab bars on either side of the handicapped shower to balance and stability while showering. If you’re not confident installing a handicap grab bar, consider hiring a professional to ensure your safety while you bathe.
How to Install a Grab Bar in Your Bathroom
Before installing a handicap grab bar, it’s essential to check with your local building codes to ensure that you are following all the necessary safety regulations.
Once you have ensured that it is safe to install a handicap grab bar in your bathroom, follow these steps:
- Locate the studs on your wall and mark their position.
- Drill pilot holes into the wall where you drew the studs.
- Attach the handicap grab bar to the wall using the screws or bolts that come with it.
- Ensure that the handicap grab bar is secure and test its weight capacity before using it.
- If you plan on installing handicap grab bars in multiple areas of your home, use the same brand and model for consistency.